Sometimes I like to check out the archives, digging deep into the image-making remnants. There’s a lot of cool stuff in there, and a lot I’ve lost track of. Even when I find intriguing possibilities, sometimes it’s frustrating because I often worked too small. And I frequently worked to the task, failing to save the layers in my hurry to finish a project, losing the traces that would make it possible to go back and revise in the way I want to now.
Before the era of gorgeous flatscreens, which is not actually so long ago, my computers were bulky and the glass was cramped. Processing was much, much slower, so save times for large images could take minutes. Having gigabytes of memory and virtual space to store data was not even imaginable. But despite the limits, it was all very exciting. Huge learning curves, urgent drive to work, marvelous discoveries. Oh, let’s rephrase that: It is all very exciting. And I am happy to be surfing through the 21st century, with new capacities and ever more extravagant possibilities.
Just for the fun of it, here are two from the vault. The first set is from 2005 and began with a glitchy text file that transformed words into two pages of stars. I’m fairly sure the collaged form was an idea for a business card. Slightly altered from the first go-round, the pale yellow orb is new and a large pale-blue squiggle scrawled across the background has been removed.
The second pair was found in a folder labeled “2008 beetles deluxe.” Which was perplexing because the only identifiable items are twigs and a fern leaf. It took two days of sleuthing, but I finally figured out that the background colors are based on a spray-painted postcard, with an abstract center that reminded me of a beetle. They’re not changed at all, except to set “The Coolness Can Be in the Details” in a desktop size, where it is now happily enhancing my screen. In number five, however, I couldn’t resist color play, rotate, and crop. Big smile. Ciao for now!
Catherine Rutgers © 2015
P.S. Here are two of my favorite art blogs. For both of them, it’s been a pleasure seeing their work evolve. Beginning with Frédéric Biver, http://fakeormistake.net, Architect, Photographer & Dialogue Promoter, whose photographic conversation is “an ongoing experimentation. Combine related images. Create a resonance, a story … It is an intuitive addiction following up a never satisfied curiosity.”
Next up, Isobel Higley, who, as of April 2020, works from her purpose-built, environmentally sustainable ceramics studio (harvesting rainwater, recycling all waste clay). Using traditional methods, with a strong personal vision, her work is available at www.isobelhigley.com. Cheers to two intriguing artists!